Romans 10:1-3 Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. NKJV
Paul having finished with his exposition of Israel’s current state or condition before God the Father, now begins to pour out his heart again for these people (who are his people) because he was once as blind as they now are to the truth of the gospel. It is equivalent today to someone like myself who grew up in the visible Church, but I was never a part of Christ Mystical Body by way of regeneration and new birth. Now that my Lord, Master, and Savior Jesus Christ has made me alive from being dead in my trespasses and sins, I can see others who are like I once was hoping in baptism or Church membership thinking this is what makes one a Christian while the fruit of their everyday life is filled with the enslavement to all manner of sin, evil, and wickedness. Paul is brought to this same very state of mind and heart for the Nation Israel because he knows that if they do not believe the gospel and in so doing are born again that despite being privileged to all of the oracles of God, the glory and covenant promises made with Abraham, the Nation as a whole adopted as God’s son, being given the Law of God, the building of a temple to God and serving Him in the Temple, and lastly the fact that Christ came in the flesh as the God-Man as a Jew all of this will profit the individual Jew who rejects, refuses, or resists the gospel nothing and they will spend eternity in hell.
Paul prayed for the salvation of the Nation and for every individual Jew with a broken heart surely every time he bowed his knee and face to heaven. Paul was moved to act upon his despair of heart over these brethren in the flesh by praying in intercession (Romans 9:1-5) for their conversion (as he was miraculously converted on the Damascus road) to Christ so that they would escape the wrath of God to come upon the ungodly (all those without Christ). Paul knew that nothing short of Divine Intervention by the Lord of Glory would do to break the hard stony hearts of these Jews hunkered down in their religious ritual system and unbelief. Paul recognizes the zeal or fervent passion the Jewish religious system has for God because he was at one time one of its highest achievers and staunches defenders. Paul now having had his spiritual eyes opened by the gospel of grace can see clearly the blinders placed upon Israel. These are not words from a man who does not understand, but a man that completely understands and this is why he has always everywhere been determined to no nothing except Jesus Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2). To be saved is to be delivered and healed from sin and preserved and made whole by the gospel of Christ.
As we said in the previous study, Israel somewhere turned the Law of God into a works based religious system of rites and rituals that they pursued with great passion thinking it made them right with God and it produced such a hardness of heart within them that they despised the people they labeled sinners as the ones who did not know the Law of God, listen to one of them speak, John 7:46-49 The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” The Pharisees then answered them, “You have not also been led astray, have you? “No one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has he? “But this crowd which does not know the Law is accursed.” NKJV The bitter venom in the speech of this one particular Pharisee confirms why Paul was so grieved and sorrowful in heart over these people. Paul could hardly contain his emotions because to hear these men speak with such disdain for our Lord Jesus Christ (who is now so precious to Paul) was like looking in an unclean mirror that was 15-20 years old (Galatians 1:14). The heads of these men so swelled up that they almost placed themselves on par with God and this is what so infuriated our Lord Jesus when he said, Matthew 23:5-7 “But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.” NKJV
This is what their zeal without knowledge led to blatant, bold, and boastful pride and arrogance doing all their deeds to make a show in the presence of important men to gain favor with them. These men cared not one wit about the salvation of the souls of dead sinners, but only how they could line their pockets with more earthly treasure, for they were truly one of the first pimps of the prosperity gospel before it ever gained such a name among men. Listen to our Lord Jesus again speak of such men as these, John 5:43-44 “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?” NKJV Their misguided zeal for rituals, rites, and rules made them miss the very God they were working to get to as He (Christ) stood in their midst for 3 years.
The Jews would not obey or put themselves under God’s only way of being right with Him, but instead set up their own righteous requirements and put every Jew under them and so participated in leading many souls to perdition along with themselves, listen again to our Lord Jesus, Matthew 23:13-15 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” NKJV Unbelief is so blinding that it can and does literally poison the heart from hearing and receiving the truth of the gospel. Religion kills whereas the gospel of Christ brings newness of life through His death, burial, and resurrection from the dead (Romans 6:4).
John 5:33-34 “You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. But the testimony which I receive is not from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved.” NKJV
Romans 3:21-22 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction. NKJV
“The Incarnation through the death of Christ makes it possible for God to be ‘just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.’ If God should be merciful without the satisfaction of justice, He would cease to be a God of justice and would thus forfeit His throne of righteousness. In a word, He would cease to be God.” A. C. Dixon
“Whom God legally saves, He experimentally saves; whom He justifies, them He also sanctifies. Where the righteousness of Christ is imputed to an individual, a principle of holiness is imparted to him; the former can only be ascertained by the latter. It is impossible to obtain a Scriptural knowledge that the merits of Christ’s finished work are reckoned to my account, except by proving that the efficacy of the Holy Spirit’s work is evident in my soul.” A. W. Pink
“The many years I spent growing up in the visible Church, yet continuing to live in all manner of sinful wicked rebellion only testified that I never heard the gospel, believed the gospel, or received the gospel, but when I did hear the gospel, believe the gospel, and receive the gospel I can now surely say what Paul said in, 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. NKJV” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…